July 2010 — October 2010

The House of Bilquis Bibi

by Sudha Bhuchar. Adapted from The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca

A Tamasha and Harrogate Theatre co-production

“Delicately written and compellingly acted… Ila Arun makes a commanding matron whose threatening stare, tautly drawn lip, and downcast gaze send chills down my spine.”


“Class, complicated matters of the heart and the role of women take centre stage… for powerful, thought-provoking drama, Tamasha clearly triumphs every time.”

Official London Theatre

Bilquis Bibi rules over her household with a rod of iron and a stifling love which cages her five daughters. Like butterflies forever cocooned, they long to shimmer and show their true colours.

When her husband dies suddenly, Bilquis agrees for eldest girl Abida to become engaged to her nephew Pappo. He brings with him the hope of love and the American dream.

Bilquis turns a blind eye to the illicit nightly visits Pappo pays to his fiancée’s balcony. But what will happen when she realises that more than one daughter is staying awake for him?

Tamasha celebrated its 21st year with a new adaptation of Lorca’s masterpiece, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA. Set in the Punjabi town of Jhang, it tells a personal yet subtly political story of small town lives with global ties in present-day Pakistan.

Singer and actress Ila Arun (JODHAA AKBAR, CHOLI KE PEECHE KYA HAI, RINGA RINGA) played the domineering matriarch Bilquis. She led an all-female cast of nine, which also included Indira Joshi (THE KUMARS AT NO. 42).

Creative Team

Writer Sudha Bhuchar

Director Kristine Landon-Smith

Designer Sue Mayes

Lighting Designer Natasha Chivers

Composer Felix Cross

Sound Designer Mike Furness


Bilquis Bibi Ila Arun

Abida Ghizala Avan

Bushra Rina Fatania

Sumayyah Mariam Haque

Mehroonsia Indira Joshi

Aroosa Youkti Patel

Amana Shalini Peiris

Fida Vineeta Rishi

Servant / Zainab Balvinder Sopal